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Gravy Train

Story ID:8718
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell ID USA
Year:2013
Person:Me
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The graffiti on the train cars passing our apartment never fail to catch my eye.
Somewhere, a lot of people are using thousands of cans of spray paint to express their
creativity. Their work travels across the continent.

I see a lot of trains from my apartment. They pass by, on average, once an hour
or more.

I've ridden a lot of trains in my life. The first train I boarded was one that took
me a couple hundred miles from my hometown to a city in another province for training
in a new job I accepted.
I listened to the rattle of the steel wheels roll over the tracks and wondered if it
was taking me to my future.

It did!

I held that job for fifteen years.

During that time I bought a home, married, had two children and then was
let go. New technology caused the loss of three quarters of the employees. I was out
of work.

I rode the rails again.

I found work in another province and then
crossed the USA border. It was
like I was on a another train to a good future.

Three years later, I was on another adventure to New Jersey. That train
derailed in less than two years.

Idaho was next a good job, stock
options and a hope for a good future.

The company sold. I was off the train

I sit here watching the trains, reading the graffiti on their sides and wait for
one that says, "Mike's Gravy Train." The train that rolls up with my riches on it.

It never comes.

It's taken me thirty years to realize, the gravy train doesn't come to you. You
need to go for it. You need to find it, grab a rope, dig your heels in and pull your gravy
train home.

Michael T. Smith